Thursday, 16 February 2012

"Iwadatami" on the Chichibu Railway

EMU Chichibu 7500 series (Ex-Tokyu 8090 series) arrives at Nagatoro Station, Chichibu Railway

Nagatoro is a well known sightseeing spot in Saitama Prefecture. It is located 80km north of Tokyo, and situated in the northeast corner of Chichibu Basin.

Nagatoro is a beautiful valley, which was incised by Ara River over a long period of time. Especially, "Iwadatami" is a famous view point (see the bottom photo). You can see piles of rocks on the both sides of the river. These rocks are metamorphic, which were generated by extremely high pressure in the deeper part of the subsurface around 100 million years ago. They look like straw mats in Japanese houses.

To enjoy 100 million years of the earth history, you should take Chichibu Railway, and get off at Nagatoro Station. It takes only 5 minutes from the station to Iwadatami on foot. Then, you can paddle your way down the river on a traditional boat. It is a perfect way for those who would like to enjoy beautiful riverside sceneries.

Chichibu Railway is a local company, which connects several cities in the northern part of Saitama Prefecture. You can transfer to this railway from many routes such as the Joetsu Shinkansen at Kumagaya, the Seibu Line at Chichibu and the Tobu Tojo Line at Yorii station.

As I introduced in my blog on August 1st, 2011, Chichibu Railway has been taking over trains, which were retired from other companies, such as Seibu, Toei and Tokyu (see the top photo). Riding these evergreen trains is also an exciting experience for rail fans.

Chichibu is a lot of fun.

"Iwadatami (piles of rocks)" along Ara River near Nagatoro Station, Chichibu  Railway